From Iceland — Yesterday Was Icelandic Nature Day

Yesterday Was Icelandic Nature Day

Published September 17, 2020

Catherine Magnúsdóttir
Photo by
Axel Sigurðarson

Icelandic Nature Day is celebrated every year on 16 September, encouraging individuals, schools, institutions, companies and NGOs to consider it in their activities. This day is chosen as it is also the birthday of Ómar Ragnarsson, a beloved national treasure who has spent a lifetime defending Icelandic nature—at times even getting arrested defending it. He turned 80 years old yesterday, and was honoured by the Ministry for the Environment and Natural Resources for his lifetime of efforts.

The Ministry for the Environment and Natural Resources states that, “Few things have shaped the Icelandic nation like nature. Icelanders have adapted their lives to the interplay of fire and ice, sweltering weather gods and powerful tides.”

Schools can work on creative projects with their students to raise their awareness, interest and knowledge about the importance of nature and our influence on it.

In connection with Icelandic Nature Day, the Minister for the Environment and Natural Resources also presents two awards: Sigríður í Brattholt’s Nature Conservation Award and the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources’ Media Prize.

This year the Media Prize was awarded to Arnhildur Hálfdánardóttir, a journalist at RÚV. She received the award for the series Loftslagsþerapíuna, which was on Rás 1’s programme last winter. The jury’s statement reportedly says that Arnhildur has managed, with both words and tones, to approach facts about one of the most urgent topics of our time in a warm and artistic way.

The Nature Conservation Award went to Kári Kristjánsson. According to RÚV, he’s also known as the “Icelandic ranger”, as he has been involved in nature conservation with great interest and enthusiasm in recent decades. He has, for instance, developed a method to transport acrocarpous moss to damaged patches, managing to close wounds, especially around Lakagígar, one of the most sensitive areas of Icelandic nature.

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